Skittles’ Brand Refresh: Embracing the Weird and Wonderful

Category

Branding

Read Time

4 min

Published

08 May, 2024

Skittles has always been a sweets brand with a difference, injecting a sense of humour into their packaging and advertising campaigns.

Albeit a little weird at times, (let’s think back to adverts such as a man who can’t touch anything without objects turning into the sweets or a rainbow-eating giraffe who can be milked to produce Skittle sweets) they certainly like to push the creative boundaries.

They’ve built a brand tone of voice which is founded on being bizarre and silly, but it makes them unique in a crowded market where lots of brands are testing the same strategies.

This sense of ‘weirdness’ has been amplified even more in their latest brand refresh in partnership with Design consultancy Elmwood.

They’ve embraced Skittles’ quirky personality to develop a global campaign centred around nonsensical core elements aimed at appealing to Gen Z.

Already launched in China, with the EU set to follow, the new designs reshape Skittles’ packaging, typography, and promotion into a fresh and funky form.

Logo Refresh and New Packaging Designs

Let’s start with the logo, which has been reworked to fit the theme of Skittles being totally unique.

The letter ‘K’ in ‘Skittles’ has been given a distinctive upward flick which adds a tone of sass and a ‘I don’t care’ attitude’, alluding to the confidence and boldness of the Skittles brand.

They’re proud to do things differently, and they don’t stick with regular design norms.

The brand’s signature upside-down rainbow icon has also been given a more vibrant makeover, with the colours feeling like they almost pop off the packaging. Even the fact the rainbow is upside down and not in its usual arch shape, signifies that the brand is trying to set themselves apart from others and stand out.

Greg Taylor, chief provocation officer at Elmwood said the following:

In the first part of our work with Skittles, we focused on evolving its master assets to make them more fluid – we let the rainbow shine and the lentils fly. The aim is to make the Skittles brand more distinctive to consumers so that they can spot innovation and easily identify their favourite ranges on-shelf.

Building brand consistency across the different types of Skittles is also key as there needs to be an overarching brand system among all the silliness!

blue skittles cloudz bags

Throughout the various packaging designs, they’ve incorporated harmonious colour palettes that make space for fun and personality. A perfect example is the airship graphics on the Squishy Cloudz Fruits pouches, where a pastel-coloured Skittle serves as a hot air balloon.

Creating a Brand-World Experience with Purpose

The packaging has given the brand the base to focus on its product development with the idea of building a brand-world experience.

Paul O’Brien, Design Director at Elmwood said:

Skittles has always been associated with this very distinctive tone of voice – it’s lo-fi, quirky and DIY in style. In order to capture this very recognisable tenor, we developed a brand new design aesthetic. ‘Nonsensical’, as we call it, is our way of dialling up Skittles’ ability to tell a great story. It’s joyful and freeing, providing an entertaining release from common sense – while remaining true to the core feel of Skittles.

Whilst nonsensical is the core focus of this rebrand, everything is done with a purpose.

It’s not just wackiness for the sake of it, as the idea is to attract a Gen-Z audience whilst also future proofing Skittles in a changing landscape.

There’s so many sweets for people to choose from that Skittles want to double-down on their reputation for being bizarre to keep candy-lovers interested. Whilst some brands rely on brand mascots to make them stand out (think Haribos and M & M’s), Skittles are elevating their outlandish and unconventional approach.

A key part of the refresh is crafting a brand-world experience, allowing people to ‘experience the rainbow’ through this design system.

I’m not a huge fan of the Skittles sweets themselves, but I’m a big fan of this rebrand. A bit of silliness and light-heartedness is just what we need sometimes, and this is the perfect blend of fun and purpose to build on the existing reputation of Skittles.

Hi, I'm Amy, Content Strategist at Canny. In my day-to-day role, I'm responsible for creating content that gets you noticed and makes you stand out from the competition. Naturally, I love writing and creating engaging copy that brings your brand to life.

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